Expressive Lyrics: THE LONELY DREAMS OF BORISOV-MUSATOV. On the 150th Anniversary of the Artist's Birth

Olga Davydova

Article: 
POINT OF VIEW
Magazine issue: 
#2 2020 (67)

“...I cannot keep my heart silent...”
Viktor Borisov-Musatov
From a letter to Yelena Aleksandrova. May 25, 1895[1]

In the history of art, the artist’s oeuvre outlives its creator. The year 2020 has a special symbolic meaning in regard to the creative fate of one of the leading masters of the Russian Art Nouveau, Viktor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov (1870-1905), as it opens and closes the path of the artist’s life with landmark dates: the 150th anniversary of his birth and the 115th anniversary of his death. These anniversaries stimulate us to not only recall and clarify the documentary aspects of the master’s biography, but also to analyse on a new level the ways in which the poetic principles of his creative thinking were manifested in his work. Considered together, the iconographic structure of Borisov-Musatov's artworks and the individual qualities of his artistic language form an authentic artistic universum, which, in accordance with the laws of symbolism, possesses its own Time and Space characteristics.

Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Emerald Necklace. 1903-1904
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Emerald Necklace. 1903-1904
Oil and tempera on canvas. 125 × 14.3 cm. © Tretyakov Gallery

Borisov-Musatov’s belief in the romantic truth that a “work of art" is “the only way to find the temps perdu”[2] had a poetic and ground-breaking creative power common to a number of unique Western European and Russian masters of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, a group who were to become the bearers of a new symbolist type of artistic thinking in the development of art history. Having perceived contemporaneity through their own poetic premonitions and intuitive insights, via their real and imaginary memories, the symbolist artists made an attempt to capture the essence of the soul, hidden in the depths of inner life (both their own and the world’s). In this context, Viktor Borisov-Musatov, like Mikhail Vrubel, was one of the most tireless dreamers and visionaries among Russian artists of the L’art Nouveau era and one who was uncompromisingly devoted to the search for visual possibilities to reflect on canvas or paper his platonic ideal: “my dream is to die, like Hamlet, for the dream”[3], the artist confessed. The visual system of an individual reve that gradually led Borisov-Musatov to his own imaginary system, in which two iconographic motifs - that of a landscape garden or park space, usually a manor, and that of a romanticized female image - translated the ideal substance of the soul: “Oh, I have long cherished / Rostand’s melancholy ideal."[4] wrote the artist, identifying himself with the hero of Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac".

The female images created by Borisov-Musatov synthesize the features of his real contemporaries (Yelena Aleksandrova, Lidia Zakharova, Nadezhda Stanyukovich, etc.)[5] with the psychological characteristics of Roxana, Eurydice, Beatrice, Simonetta Vespucci and “La Gioconda"[6]. A reproduction of the latter hung in the artist’s studio alongside Pierre Puvis de Chavannes' “Saint Genevieve"[7], Sandro Botticelli's “Primavera"[8] and the fresco "Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman"[9] from the Louvre. This internal visual nature of Borisov-Musatov's works symbolises, first and foremost, the poetic phenomenon of the soul as a certain uniqueness burdened with loneliness and isolation that can only be overcome in the world of illusions. In the artist's letters and draft sketches can be found many poetic lines that directly express the feeling of love as a state of longing for an ideal: “Even if you, my faithful friend, / Be just a fruit of my imagination, / Or just a sacred circle of Magic Dreams , / Or just oblivion of all my torments"[10]

Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Lady in blue. 1902
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Lady in blue. 1902
Watercolours and gouache on paper. 81 × 61 cm. © Tretyakov Gallery

From the point of view of the artist's individual stylistics, the visual system created by Borisov-Musatov revealed itself most vividly within the highly productive period from 1898 up to 1905, which saw the creation of artworks with unique visual and lyrical qualities (“Harmony" (1900, Tretyakov Gallery); “Tapestry" (1901, Tretyakov Gallery); “The Pool" (1902, Tretyakov Gallery); “Phantoms" (1903, Tretyakov Gallery); “The Emerald Necklace" (1903-1904, Tretyakov Gallery); “The Park Plunges into the Shadows" (1904, Ivanov Art Museum); studies of the panel “Seasons" for the mansion of Alexandra Derozhinskaya in Moscow (1904-1905, Tretyakov Gallery); “The Blaze of Sunset" (1904, Ivanov Art Museum); “Requiem" (1905, Tretyakov Gallery); etc.) However, even the artist's early experiences testify to the inner soul-deep spiritual source of his art, to its “un-superficial appearance"[11], which neither education nor fashion or any other external “appliqué"[12] could ever substitute.

Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Harmony. 1900
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Harmony. 1900
Oil and tempera on canvas. 162 × 90.5 cm. © Tretyakov Gallery

Born on April 2 (14), 1870, into the family of a Saratov railway employee, Borisov-Musatov did not seem to belong to the hereditary line of those chosen few in the world of art, unlike some of his contemporaries - cultural St. Petersburg dreamers - such as Alexander Benois and Konstantin Somov. However, the role and the degree of Borisov-Musatov's influence on the artistic environment of his time is no less significant than the contribution to Art Nouveau of the outstanding artists of the “World of Art" movement. The originality of Borisov-Musatov's artistic personality was based on his power of inner concentration, intense capacity for hard work and the ability to feel the depth and power of creative energy derived from the isolated solitude of his imagination. In fact, until the end of his life, Borisov-Musatov preserved the original impulse of a single dreamer, writing visual “poems", which, as he himself noted, were the result of “observations of nature in the silence of a small garden"[13]. Borisov-Musatov also expressed himself in a poetic form: “I'm alone at home and give concerts to myself. / I use all the colours instead of sounds / My instruments are lace, silk, and flowers. / My improvisations are my fantasy, / And romanticism is my almighty Kapelmeister / <...> / And reality doesn't seem to exist. / My dreams are always ahead of me. / <...>/ My longing torments me. Musical longing for the palette, maybe."[14]

At first, the small garden mentioned above, which was adjacent to the wooden outbuilding of his home on Saratov's Platz Parade, served Borisov-Musatov well as a reliable creative laboratory. Later, however, the parks of venerable estates became for him a yet deeper imaginary source, in which the perfect ideal spiritual substances of the past were revived and symbolically reflected in the faces of his heroines. It is noteworthy that even on the eve of his long-awaited marriage in 1902, Borisov-Musatov wrote to his bride, the artist Yelena Vladimirovna Alexandrova, defending the artist's right to privacy in the subjective world: “In my art, the act of creation must be hidden from everybody. Respect it, please, as my secret and as the secret of my heart."[15] There can be no overestimating the degree of Borisov-Musatov's devotion to the development of art in the contemporary context.

Borisov-Musatov started his artistic education at the Saratov Technical Secondary School, then continued with classes at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, visiting classes at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts and at the private studio of Pavel Chistyakov in 1891-1893 (the training's short duration was caused by the negative impact of the St. Petersburg climate on the health of the artist, who, from childhood, had a damaged spine). This was followed by a three-year foreign internship at the studio of Fernand Cormon (from 1895 to 1898). In general, life in Paris and trips to the South of France, as well as to Munich, Dresden and Berlin, all had a very positive impact on the artist, both personally and professionally. Originally, Borisov-Musatov planned to enter the studio of his “idol", the famous symbolist painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, but this plan was not realised for a very special reason: “I was always afraid that he would go and die by the time I arrived, because he is over seventy. But he's done even worse - he got married and closed his studio before the wedding."[16]

However, neither academic knowledge nor the modernist innovations of the fin de siècle can play a deci sive role in shaping our understanding of Borisov-Musatov's original imaginary, as the source of the artist's individual poetics lies in his inner spiritual world. In recent decades[17], he has been more and more often regarded not as a representative of realism or impressionism (he consistently rejected both labels), but as an artist who elevated romanticism to a new stage of symbolist development, in which feeling, intuition and freedom of associative thinking are all amplified. In the context of Art Nouveau, the lyrical theme of Borisov-Musatov, associated with his romantic-symbolist worldview, is confirmed not only by the works of his mature period, covering, as noted above, the years 1898 to 1905, but also by his early works, among which there are some recent findings. The watercolour discovered in 2016 in the Manuscripts Department of the Russian Museum[18] (lost for more than 100 years in the artist's personal papers among notes on art, recordings of impressions, dreams and poems[19]) might be another piece of evidence. Created in Alupka in 1895, during his summer trip to the Caucasus and Crimea, which preceded his autumn trip abroad (then still considered a milestone in an artist's absorption of contemporary views on art), this watercolour shows that some of the visual and figurative innovations introduced by Borisov-Musatov after his return from Paris to Russia in 1898 were intuitively inherent to him even before he became acquainted with Western symbolist trends. The subject of the miniature is rather simple, but there is an extremely revealing irreal (surreal) element - a vision, an element that unites earthly life with the sphere of otherness. Against the background of a delicate pink and blue sunset space, in which the water echoes the sky, the shape of a transparent female figure is depicted four times. This vision seems to be an imaginary rêve floating among clouds towards a dreamer sitting on a hilly shore whose silhouette recalls that of the author. The decorativeness of this small artwork (it could surely be called a “utopia") of Borisov-Musatov is quite functional. Judging by the rectangular window of plain paper left in the composition, where a few poetic lines could fit in quite naturally, this sketch could well have served as a preparatory work for a calendar, birthday address or postcard. Here, however, it is precisely the aesthetic focus of this early graphic work that is of most interest. Along with Borisov-Musatov's poetic and prose notes, this sketch-fantasy deepens our understanding of the artist-symbolist's poetic worldview. The origins of his visual language stems from an exalted longing for the harmonious creative world.

Borisov-Musatov's artworks, large and small, possess a synthetically capacious semantic potential of “subjective-chamber" universalism, which is primarily characteristic of the “poetic" form of expression of thoughts and feelings. The most consistent special characteristics among living beings, neither in the past nor in the future"[20].

The “mystery of the ages"[21] of lonely walks is also alive in the ideal space that Borisov-Musatov creates in his portrayals of estate parks. The estate landscape in the works of the artist is suggestive of the era of Turgenev (Borisov-Musatov did indeed read and re-read the works of Ivan Turgenev and Alexander Pushkin), comprising the elegiac motifs of romanticism and dominated by a muted range of colours, antique architecture and costumes designed in the manner of the 1830s or a la Watteau, costumes which were sometimes taken from the chests of great-grandmothers (as with a “bronze-coloured hood" in which his sitters Nadezhda Stanyukovich and the artist's younger sister Anna, posed more than once; see “Lady by the Tapestry", “The Emerald Necklace", etc.). Nevertheless, these portrayals are never simply a literal translation of nostalgic feelings. Borisov-Musatov's peculiar interest in manor/estate motifs is much more complicated than mere passéiste melancholy - it was the artist's attempt to reveal in a real space a kind of poetic universum in which the laws of time are not decisive. It is no coincidence that even in his photography, an activity which was important for the artist[22], Borisov-Musatov strove not so much for naturally accurate representations of physical reality, as for the immaterial aspects of nature and man's life (to that end, he used certain technical means to achieve pictorial symbolist effects in light transmission or blurring the frame)[23]. Expecting too much from creativity (perhaps, quite rightly), symbolist artists, including Borisov-Musatov, turned art into an imaginary eternity, setting it into their own temporal and spatial system of coordinates. Not for nothing did Borisov-Musatov write more than once “do not destroy my world of reveries. After all, I live it, and it's the best of the worlds for me"[24].

Almost every symbolist artist would form a system of persistent visual images, whose aura of interaction manifests the originality of each master's personality. In the iconographic structure of Borisov-Musatov's works, one can distinguish several real (from a historical point of view) estates and parks that had an impact on his model of ideal space, semantically connected with the image of paradise, among them Sleptsovka, Zubrilovka, Vvedenskoe, and oak forests in Cheremsh- any and Pesochnoye near Tarusa. It should be noted that an estate attracted Borisov-Musatov not so much for its link to any particular historical epoch as for its nature, saturated in the memory of that past. For example, his sister wrote that, during a long-awaited visit to the Golitsyn-Prozorovskys' estate Zubrilovka in 1902, the artist rather indifferently examined the interiors of the palace, built at the turn of the 1770s into the 1780s, devoting most of his time to the ancient park[25]. In the works of Borisov-Musatov, the Zubrilovka park, which the artist initially photographed for the purpose of its further transformation, would repeatedly serve as a prototype of the otherworldly landscape that encircles the ghostly vision souls in a romantic atmosphere - those of the feminine “genius loci" of the past (Borisov-Musatov's “Phantoms" (1903, Tretyakov Gallery); or his painting “The Pool" (1902-1903, Tretyakov Gallery)), significant in its colour rhythmic structure. It should be noted that Borisov-Musatov did not consider himself a “singer of manor estates", as well-meaning critics called him. The artist insisted that he did not visualise the real historical past, but animated his poetic representation of it. When anyone asked him to explain the subject of “The Emerald Necklace" - in the opinion of Borisov-Musatov the most “pagan" of his paintings - he would say, smiling: “What era?" and then answer: “This is, you know, a beautiful era - and nothing else"[26].

For Borisov-Musatov, the main subject of visualisation was not the real world of the past itself, but the particular impulses and images of the past, which provoked a creative nostalgia that revealed not so much the melancholy of the past, as the painful perception of the present: “To love art (I mean in the full sense of the word) is to love death. The more you love art, the worse it is. It takes everything in life from the author and gives nothing back. The more an artist loves art, the more he does not live for life, the more his love for life dies away, and the greater his ability to express himself in his artworks becomes. And the more the artist is dying in life, the greater his chance to create something immortal in art,"[27] he wrote.

Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Dream of a Godship. From the series “Seasons”. Sketch of a mural. 1904–1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Dream of a Godship. From the series “Seasons”. Sketch of a mural. 1904–1905
Watercolours, white pigment, pastel, brush, pen, graphite pencil on paper. 70 × 106 cm. © Tretyakov Gallery

Borisov-Musatov has also brought closer to immortality the cycle of time. In the symbolism of the seasons, the sense of art iconography is comprised both of actual meaningful events, and also effective participants of the emotional life of the subjects depicted. In Borisov-Musatov's oeuvre, we will not find a single image of winter that cools down the colours and neutralises the plant aroma of the earth's breath. The artist even visually excluded winter from his cycle “Seasons", created for the mansion of Alexandra Derozhinskaya (1904-1905, Tretyakov Gallery), replacing it with an autumn landscape “Dream of the Deity" (sketch panel from the cycle “Seasons", 1904-1905, Tretyakov Gallery). In order to understand the subtle seasonal gradation of visual intonations in this cycle (realized only at the level of sketches), the following semantic sequence, taken from drafts of their programme, is significant:

Spring - Joy -Morning | pursuit of beauty.
Summer - Joy - Day I musical melody.
Autumn - Sorrow - Evening I silence of separation.
Winter - Peace - Night I dream of the deity[28].

And yet, despite the fact that the text refers to “winter", Borisov-Musatov depicted instead the lonely twilight of autumn, which was one of the two dominant seasonal leitmotifs in the iconographic Time and Space counterpoint of the artist's works. It should be noted that the French symbolist Maurice Denis also excluded winter from his cycle of decorative panels “Seasons" (18911892), creating instead two autumn images “September Night" (1891, Museum of Orsay, Paris) and “Evening in October" (1891, Museum of Orsay, Paris).

Such a phenomenon is associated primarily with the internal connotation of the visual poetics of symbolist artists, semantically echoing the spiritual stirrings of Herman Bang:

Hin durch die weiten Reiche der Erde
Gehn wir zum Paradies mit Gesang
(Through beautiful earthly kingdoms, \\ We're going to heaven with the chants.)[29]

Within the framework of the artist's illusory world, there is a perceptible desire to immerse earthly time into the lethargy of reveries about eternity, to which, as to an imperceptible horizon, the heroines in Borisov-Musatov's works walk motionlessly. This aroused the artist's special attention and directed it towards another transitional period in the life of nature and the stirrings of the soul associated with it. With no less sensitivity to harmony, Borisov-Musatov's fantasy would recreate the landscape image of spring, the spring-summer mirages of feelings: “Spring. Life is everywhere. Joy. Happiness with open arms is marching towards youth. Racing through the dusk and fragrances of spring."[30]

A vivid example of the “blessing" aura of spring, which echoes these words of the artist in the form of flowering cherry petals, is the painting “Spring" by Borisov-Musatov (1898-1901, Russian Museum), which the artist began in 1898 in his small garden in Saratov and completed only in 1901, as if empowering the image to grow into the metaphorical expressiveness inherent in the work of one of his favourite masters of the Florentine Quattrocento: Botticelli's “Primavera". For Borisov-Musatov, spring as an image, symbolising the transformed hypostasis of the past, the metamorphosis of the “never dying"[31] past, was full of that feminine, “barely beginning uncertainty"[32] which, slipping away, captivated not only in life, but also at the level of the artistic challenge, beckoning towards art. This task was an attempt to create a multidimensional poetic image by means of painting and graphics.

It was precisely this poetic concept that found its expression in the stylistic peculiarities of Borisov-Musatov's language - in the “recurrence" of elements in drawings and iconographic motifs, the muted nature of the imagery’s situational sources, and the refined interrelation of the psychological state of mind in the works of different periods. Borisov-Musatov did indeed identify himself with Orpheus, one of the main characters in the symbolist pantheon of images: “I am Dante after all,"[33] he would confess, half-joking.

It should be emphasised that the very nature of the emotional response inspired by Borisov-Musatov's paintings and graphic works is similar to that inspired by poetry. Borisov-Musatov's friends felt shocked and amazed when they first saw the painting “The Pool" (1902-1903, Tretyakov Gallery): “We were blinded by the colours, we didn't understand... We sat in front of the painting overwhelmed by its beauty and kept silent for a long time. Silence reigned. Victor was quietly walking in the other room... ‘How good... God... how good!' ...someone whispered quietly. And a wide wave of happiness flooded our hearts... It was as if there was no low ceiling studio, no rain outside, no long provincial days. <...> That long evening we were sitting on his wide Turkish sofa in front of the painting, fascinated by its powerful charm. It was something completely new, unexpected and unseen"[34]. Perhaps it was due to the harmonious balance in the interaction of form and content, based on the laws of musical comprehension and reflection of meanings, that the expressive ornamentation of the visual language in “The Pool" (as in his “Tapestry") made a great impressi on some time later on Maurice Denis - the “Nabi aux Belles Icones" (Nabi of the beautiful icons). Denis saw those paintings in the collection of Vladimir Girshman (now in the Tretyakov Gallery) during his stay in Moscow in January 1909 at the invitation of the collector Ivan Morozov, for whose mansion on Prechistenka the French artist performed a series of panels called “History of the Psyche" (19071909, now in the Hermitage)[35].

One can't say that Borisov-Musatov wasn't looking for an external outlet beyond the circle of his creative being, and beyond Saratov, about which he wrote not only with love, but also with irony: “Napoleon felt better in Moscow than I did in Saratov."[36] In 1903, Borisov-Musatov, who wanted to be closer to Moscow (“the city is amazingly beautiful. Even in Europe there is not such a city"[37]), moved to Podolsk and, in 1905, to Tarusa. And yet the memory “of the divine peace in Saratov, when [he] could not distinguish between reality and dreams,"[38] continued to feed the creative imagination of the master.

Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Requiem. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Requiem. 1905
Paper mounted on cardboard, watercolours, black crayon, ink, pen. 52.7 × 76.1 cm. © Tretyakov Gallery

Despite the immense scale of his artistic expression and the vigorous development of his personality, Borisov-Musatov's life was a short one. On October 26 (November 8), 1905, the artist died unexpectedly from a heart attack in his new Tarusa studio in front of his final composition “Requiem". This piece, although unfinished, is one of Borisov-Musatov’s most perfect works in terms of the power of concentration of feeling and the musicality of the visualised rhythm of spiritual experiences it demonstrates. It is no coincidence that Vasily Milioti, an artist of the “Blue Rose" group who knew Borisov-Musatov well, classed “Requiem", along with “The Pearl" (1904, Tretyakov Gallery) by Mikhail Vrubel, among the highest visual achievements of watercolour craftsmanship. He considered both these works of two senior symbolists to be the quintessence of pictorial achievement, conveyed by the language of graphics: “In his pictorial quest, as happened to many of his contemporaries, Musatov has always loved a clean, fine line in drawing, as evidenced by his distinct lines in ‘Requiem' - this gently illuminated drawing, where the latter, however, does not play a dominant role, maintaining that full balance which is necessary in a large, completely perfected creation"[39]. “If only you could realize the pleasure inspired by a line's beauty"[40], Borisov-Musatov wrote in one of his intimate letters. It is no surprise that Milioti, sensitive as he was to the pictorial language of the artist, was capable of laying bare the internal relationship in the visual thinking of both masters in the heartfelt poetic graphic accompaniment that he created for Andrei Bely's article “Pink Garlands". On the death of Borisov-Musatov (“Golden Fleece" magazine, 1906, No 3; miniatures - pp. 63, 65).

If we rely on the opinion of Borisov-Musatov himself that his paintings primarily reflect feelings, then “Requiem" is highly autobiographical. It is dedicated to the memory of Borisov-Musatov's spiritual friend and muse Nadezhda Yurievna Stanyukovich (1876-1905), who, as the artist said, “was a thoughtful poet"[41] (it is no coincidence that the central figure is depicted with a book in her hand - an album of poems by Nadezhda Yurievna). “I am somehow desperately tired and surely cannot wake up from the bad dream that her illness has brought upon me,"[42] - wrote Borisov-Musatov in September 1905 to Nadezhda Yurievna's husband Vladimir Stanyukovich in the army, who became the first biographer of the artist. “How can I write to you about her last days. All the days were the last. But her death has reconciled me with death in general. She was pure and extraordinary. At times I thought she was a saint, and I couldn't understand why she was living."[43] Borisov-Musatov's art is no less autobiographical in the context of the spiritual life of Nadezhda Yurievna herself - she “kept her eyes fixed for days on end"[44] on the blossoming glad tidings of “Spring", which was moved into her room during her illness[45]. “Requiem" is metaphorical to the utmost extent possible thanks to its form of allegorical expression of feelings of grief. The visual transmission of a religious feeling of farewell (confessional in its essence) is associated with the landscape and the piece's fading autumn colours. It is no coincidence that autumn, with its lyrically lengthening rhythmic proportions, with its musical blurs and paint stains, became one of the main ghostly female characters of the artist's last works. “It's been raining for months and I sit at home and don't want to think about leaving for Moscow. It's so nice here, so beautiful all around, and [the views] from my windows are so diverse... The birches all around me form the finest lace, as fantastic, ghostly, and insensible as a dream - and fantasy has no limits... Sometimes I feel like I'm at the bottom of the sea and that I am surrounded not by birch trees, but by seaweed and grey corals,"[46] wrote Borisov-Musatov from Tarusa to the artist Nikolai Ulyanov just three weeks before his death. Borisov-Musatov expressed the music of dying, the abstractly obscure poetry of vanishing reality in the “kingdom of fairy tale watercolour" in his “Autumn" (1905, Tretyakov Gallery), “Nutwood Bush" (1905, Tretyakov Gallery) and “Balcony in the Autumn" (1905, Tretyakov Gallery), and on the level of symbolist iconographic metaphor in the timeless “Requiem".

Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Autumn. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Autumn. 1905
Pastel on paper. 46 × 63.5 cm. © Tretyakov Gallery

In “Requiem", Borisov-Musatov reached the highest manifestation of the idealistic reference points of his worldview, having synthesised on the basis of the poetic memory of the soul an event-orientated biographical plan based on his imaginary, ethereal and intuitive perception. Ilya Semenovich Ostroukhov, who contributed to the purchase of Borisov-Musatov's works for the Tretyakov Gallery collection and partly for the Russian Museum, regretted that this “original, gentle and interesting artist" had “descended into the grave"[47] before his time, just as he was evolving and gaining long-awaited recognition both in Russia and the West (as evidenced by a number of lifetime and posthumous exhibitions, namely, the Munich Secession (1904), Autumn Salon (1905), “Two Centuries of Russian Painting and Sculpture" (1906, Paris), “World of Art" (1906) and the Union of Russian Artists exhibitions (1905, 1906), as well as a solo exhibition in 1904 in Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Dresden, in addition to other exhibitions). One could not agree more. Borisov-Musatov survived his untimely departed muse, Nadezhda Yurievna Stanyukovich, by only two months. However, to speculate about the master's death is to step into the field of fortune-telling: the artist's short lifespan has ensured the unintentional inerrancy of his creations. The artists whose poetics reflected a symbolist type of thinking, visualising in a work of art different hypostases of the existence of the soul, were gifted with a special insight in their understanding of the relationship between the events of the external reality and its internal immaterial nature. Back in 1899, Borisov-Musatov wrote: “When one feels deeply, one is silent. No words can express the depth of the heart with its suffering and mysteries... <...> ... only the soul can offer consolation. That's happiness, and that's the reward for the pain, so long as your heart doesn't rupture, tired as it is to struggle."[48] Created six years after these lines were written in a letter to Lidia Zakhartova, “Requiem" was intended to comfort the soul in its mournful sense of loneliness, as an incarnation of the lost reality in the illusory world of a graphic Elysium.

In this way, “Requiem" became the finale, the landmark of Borisov-Musatov's creative searches. The entire general visual system of the artist found expression in it: compositional principles, including repetitive tracings, the internal movement of poses, impressed through the external wave-like contour line, a ceremonial frieze-like procession, the soft modulation of faded, “hazy" colour scale and the absence of shadows. In addition, it should be noted that Borisov-Musatov gradually developed his own system of compositional shadow relations within the painting. The ghostly ephemeral images of the heroines are enhanced by the fact that the shadows from the figures are included in the general pattern of the landscape texture, are extremely transparent, soft spots or they are absent altogether. Analysing the cause of such a phenomenon, Vladimir Stanyukovich wrote that, in the last years of his life, the artist “stopped looking at the world"[49]. Borisov-Musatov looked into the platonic regularities of creative existence until the end of his earthly journey. Thus, for example, in connection with the procession motif, one cannot but remember the rhythmic drawing of a group of figures from Sandro Botticelli’s fresco “Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman" mentioned at the beginning of this article. Borisov-Musatov's characteristic process of abandonment of natural reality was connected with a gradual change in the artist's conception of the source of beauty as an external given: shadows do not cast shadows.

In the context of aesthetic discoveries at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the main metaphorical result of Borisov-Musatov's search for the “promised spiritual ancestral home" “paradise lost", was the method of a poetically irrational and lyrically expressive sentimental perception of the history of art, which from century to century is, in itself, an alien universe of the past. Like other symbolist artists, Borisov-Musatov, who was deeply integrated into the illusion of a paradise as a place of memories and dreams, created his own “artificial", handmade, paradise of artistic images with their own time-space relations. And although this illusory eternity does not save one from death, the unreal lands of Art Nouveau artists, including Borisov-Musatov's desolate estates, continue to live according to the same elusive principles of poetic insight, on which the existence of gardens, music, poems and in general all those spiritual entities that form a paradise-like aura of memory around the earthly spaces depend to this day.

 

  1. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 1, item 8, sheet 12.
  2. Marcel Proust. “Le Temps retrouvé”. Translation into Russian by Anna Smirnova. Saint Petersburg. 2001. Pp. 218-219.
  3. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Olga Korneeva. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 22, sheet 12.
  4. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. “Remember that evening - that ray of sunshine”. Viktor Borisov-Musatov’s poems. 1898-1901. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 41, sheet 8.
  5. For details see: Belonovich, Eleonora. “Musatov’s models. Known and unknown”. // Mir Museya. 2011. №7/287, July. P. 28-32.
  6. Leonardo da Vinci. “Ritratto di Monna Lisa del Giocondo”. 1503-1519. Louvre, Paris.
  7. Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. “Saint Genevieve Keeping Watch over Sleeping Paris”. 1898. Oil on canvas-marouflee. From the series of murals “The Pastoral Life of Saint Genevieve” for the Pantheon. 1874-1877; 1898, Paris.
  8. Sandro Botticelli. "Primavera". 1481-1482. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
  9. Sandro Botticelli. Fresco “Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman”. Detail of the fresco from the villa Lemmi (Tornabuoni, Florence). 1483/1485. Louvre, Paris.
  10. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Variant of the “Sonnet to L.” Viktor Borisov-Musatov’s poems. 1898-1901. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 41, sheet 4.
  11. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Lidia Zakharova. May 21, 1899. Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. Archive Department, Scientific-historical archive (Hereafter: Radishchev Museum), literary fund 2, inv. 1, item 3, sheet 7, reverse.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Quote from: Stanyukovich, Vladimir. “Monograph on the Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. [Sheet 121]. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 88, sheet 55.
  14. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Rhymed letter to Marianne von Werefkin. [Draft of the letter]. March 15, 1902. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 13, sheet 55.
  15. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Yelena Alexandrova. [Draft of the letter]. 1902. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 8, sheet 58.
  16. Quote from: Rusakova, Alla. “Viktor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov 1870-1905”. Leningrad; Moscow. 1966. P. 40.
  17. The evolution of artistic and critical views on the work of Borisov-Musatov can be traced back to the first monographs written by his contemporaries, primarily by Vladimir Stanyukovich (Stanyukovich, Vladimir. “Monograph on the Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Saint-Petersburg. 1906; see also: “Monograph on the Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Second edition re-worked and expanded. 1930. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 87, 88.) and Nikolai Wrangel (“Borisov-Musatov: A Biographical Essay” [“‘Sovremennoya iskusstvo’ Publishers, a series of illustrated monographs”]. St.-Petersburg: Natalia Butkovskaya. 1910; 1914). A significant role in the scientific-historical analysis of the master's work in the Soviet period was played by the researchers Alla Rusakova (“Viktor Elpidiforovich Borisov-Musatov, 1870-1905”. Leningrad; Moscow. 1966, 1974) and Olga Kochik (“Pictorial System of Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Moscow. 1980). The books by Mikhail Dunaev (“Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Moscow. 1993) and Konstantin Shilov (“My colours are tunes...” [The Saratov Years of the Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov]. Saratov. 1979; “Borisov-Musatov”, Moscow. 1985) are very special in their literary and artistic method of romanticised narration based on the basis of systemisation of biographical material from extensive archival sources (although generally not referenced in the publications of the latter author). The recent publications of Eleonora Belonovich, Boris Sokolov, Yelena Turkel, Irina Leites and others revealed new documents, facts and semantic elements in Borisov-Musatov’s heritage. Consistent analysis of certain connections between Borisov-Musatov and symbolism is given by Militsa Neklyudova (one of the chapters in the book “Tradition and innovation in Russian art of the late 19th- early 20th centuries”. Moscow. 1991), Mikhail Kiselev (“Borisov-Musatov”. 2001), and Vladimir Kruglov. (“Viktor Borisov-Musatov and the Masters of the Blue Rose Society”). Russian Museum: Almanac # 495. Saint-Petersburg. 2017); some publications of Olga Davydova, Anna Florkovskaya and other authors should be mentioned too. “The Saratov Bogolyubov Readings” comprehensively reflect the general situation in the study of Borisov-Musatov’s oeuvre: Grodskova, Tamara, ed. Saratov: Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. 2001.
  18. No title (sketch). 1895. Watercolour, ink, pencil on paper. 12.8 x 8.2 cm. Sheet size: 2.0 * 38.2 cm // Spread from "Various notes and sketches of V.E. Borisov-Musatov". Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, item 42, sheet 4 -5, reverse 1.
  19. For more detail, see: Davydova, Olga. “V.E. Borisov-Musatov: A Lost Page of Artist’s Oeuvre”. Panorama of the Arts: Almanac. Moscow. 2017. # 1. Pp. 458-479; Davydova, Olga. “Remembering Dreams: Poetic Principles in the Creativity of V.E. Borisov-Musatov”. Art Studies. Moscow. 2016, # 3-4. Pp. 72-195.
  20. Ilyazd (Ilya Zdanevich). “Books of Poetry. 1940-1971”. Moscow. 2014. P. 171.
  21. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Yelena Alexandrova. [Draft of the letter]. May 1898 // Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 8, sheet 52.
  22. In one of his letters, Borisov-Musatov summarised: “Because it's either painting or photography”. (Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. Archive Department, Scientific-historical archive. Literary fund # 2, inv. 1, item 4, sheet 19).
  23. For more information on photography, see: Belonovich, Eleonora. “Photography as a means of finding compositional solutions for Viktor Borisov-Musatov and other painters at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries”. Space & Time of Imaginary architecture. Synthesis of Arts and Birth of Style: Tsaritsyn scientific bulletin. Issue. 7-8. Moscow. 2005. P. 240-248; Sokolov, Boris. “Musical photography of Borisov-Musatov”. “New World of Art”. 2005. # 4. P. 5-7; Davydova, Olga. “Stylistic role of the garden and park images in the works of Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Davydova, Olga. “Art Nouveau iconography. Images of gardens and parks in the works of Russian symbolist artists”. Moscow. 2014. Pp. 318-322.
  24. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Lidia Zakharova. June 20, between 1898 and 1900. Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. Archive Department, Scientific-historical archive. Literary fund 2, inv. 1, item 4, sheet 12.
  25. Borisova-Musatova, Yelena. “My memories of the artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. “World of Arts: Almanac. Issue 5. Alteya Publishers, St. Petersburg. 2004. P. 428.
  26. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Quote from: Stanyukovich, Vladimir. “Monograph on the Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Sheet 156. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 87, sheet 101.
  27. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Yelena Alexandrova. October 4, 1897. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 8, sheet 49.
  28. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. “Dream of the Deity”. Various notes and sketches of Viktor Borisov-Musatov. 1895-1905. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, item 42, sheet 14.
  29. Bang, Herman. “Das Weisse Haus” (The White House). “Strange Stories” (in Russian). Moscow. 1911. P. 8.
  30. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Quote from: Stanyukovich, Vladimir. “Monograph on the Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Sheet 121. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 88, sheet 52.
  31. “Nothing in the world ever dies. Everything is forever moving forward and is merely taking other forms”, - Borisov-Musatov. (Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Lidia Zakharova. June 22, 1899. Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. Archive Department, Scientific-historical archive. Literary fund 2, inv. 1, item 3, sheet 14.
  32. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Quote from: Stanyukovich, Vladimir. “Monograph on the Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Sheet 156. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 87, sheet 75.
  33. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Lidia Zakharova. June 20, between 1898 and 1900. Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. Archive Department, Scientific-historical archive. Literary fund 2, inv. 1, item 4, sheet 12.
  34. Stanyukovich, Vladimir. “Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. Saint Petersburg. 1906. P. 23.
  35. Girshman, Henrietta. “My memories of Valentin Serov”. “Valentin Serov in memories, diaries and correspondence”. Volume 2, Leningrad. 1971. P. 328.
  36. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Lidia Zakharova. October 7, 1898. Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. Archive Department, Scientific-historical archive. Literary fund 2, inv. 1, item 3, sheet 2.
  37. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Quote from: Lushnikov A. “Borisov-Musatov”. Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery. Fund 1965, inv. 1, item 7, sheet 4.
  38. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Lidia Zakharova. January 14, 1901. Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. Archive Department, Scientific-historical archive. Literary fund 2, inv. 1, item 4, sheet 15.
  39. Milioti, Vasily. Memories of Viktor Borisov-Musatov. Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery. Fund 80, inv. 1, item 1, sheet 1 reverse.
  40. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Lidia Zakharova. c.1899. Radishchev Art Museum, Saratov. Archive Department, Scientific-historical archive. Literary fund 2, inv. 1, item 4, sheet 11.
  41. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Quote from: Stanyukovich, Vladimir. The last work of Viktor Borisov-Musatov “Requiem”. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 86, sheet 2.
  42. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Vladimir Stanyukovich. September 20/21, 1905. Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery. Fund 2, item 31, sheet 34.
  43. Ibid
  44. Stanyukovich, Vladimir. “Requem” - the last work of. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 86. Sheet 2.
  45. Ibid
  46. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Quote from: Lushnikov A. “Borisov-Musatov”. Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery. Fund 1965, inv. 1, item 7, sheet 4.
  47. Ostroukhov, Ilya. Letter to Count Dmitry Tolstoy. March 2 1906. Russian Historical Archive. Fund 696. Inv.1, item 446. Sheet 19 - 19 reverse.
  48. Borisov-Musatov, Viktor. Letter to Lidia Zakharova. December 28 1899. Department of Manuscripts, Tretyakov Gallery. Fund 72, inv. 1, item 2, sheet 2
  49. Stanyukovich, Vladimir. “Monograph on the Artist Viktor Borisov-Musatov”. 156 sheets. Department of Manuscripts, Russian Museum, fund 27, inv. 1, item 87. Sheet 115.

Illustrations

Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Emerald Necklace. 1903–1904. Detail
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Emerald Necklace. 1903–1904
Oil and tempera on canvas. 125 × 14.3 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Detail
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Self-portrait with sister. 1898
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Self-portrait with sister. 1898
Oil and tempera on canvas. 143 × 177 cm
© Russian Museum
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Tapestry. 1901
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Tapestry. 1901
Tempera on canvas. 103 × 141.2 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. At the terrace. 1903
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. At the terrace. 1903
Oil and tempera on canvas. 67.5 × 80 cm
© Russian Museum
Pierre Puvis de CHAVANNES. Saint Genevieve Keeping Watch over Sleeping Paris. 1898
Pierre Puvis de CHAVANNES. Saint Genevieve Keeping Watch over Sleeping Paris. 1898
Oil on canvasmarouflée
© Pantheon, Paris
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Loneliness. (Sorrow). 1903
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Loneliness. (Sorrow). 1903
Pastel on paper. 44 × 54 cm
© Serpukhov History and Art Museum
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Park Plunges into the Shadows. 1904
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Park Plunges into the Shadows. 1904
Tempera and pastel on canvas. 10 × 8.2 cm
© Ivanovo Regional Art Museum
Sandro BOTTICELLI. Primavera. 1481-1482
Sandro BOTTICELLI. Primavera. 1481-1482
Tempera on wood. 203 × 314 cm
© Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Cover of “Vesy” magazine. 1905. №2
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Cover of “Vesy” magazine. 1905. №2
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Tapestry. Published: Vesy. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Tapestry. Published: Vesy. 1905. №2. Pp. 30-31
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Lady by the Tapestry. Portrait of Nadezhda Stanyukovich. 1903
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Lady by the Tapestry. Portrait of Nadezhda Stanyukovich. 1903
Pastel on grey paper. 57.5 × 42 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Meeting at the Pillar. 1901–1903
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Meeting at the Pillar. 1901–1903
Paper, watercolours, ink, pen. 17.8 × 12.2 cm
© Russian Museum
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. At the pergola. Published: Vesy. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. At the pergola. Published: Vesy. 1905. №2. Before p. 33
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. May Flowers. 1894
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. May Flowers. 1894
Oil on canvas. 51 × 64 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Design project of “Northern Flowers” almanac for three years. Published: Vesy. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Design project of “Northern Flowers” almanac for three years. Published: Vesy. 1905, №2
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Untitled (Sketch). Detail. 1895
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Untitled (Sketch). Detail. 1895
Paper, watercolours, ink, pencil. 12.8 × 8.2 cm. The sheet size: 23 × 38.2 cm. Two-page opening from “Various notes and sketches of Viktor Borisov-Musatov.” Manuscript Department, Russian Museum Fund 27. Item 42. Sheet 4-5
© Russian Museum
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Girl at the Balcony. 1900
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Girl at the Balcony. 1900
Oil on canvas. 77 × 50 cm
© Radishchev State Art Museum in Saratov
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. At the Pond. A Dream. 1902
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. At the Pond. A Dream. 1902
Ink and watercolours on paper. 21.5 × 16.3 cm
© Gapar Aitiev Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts. Bishkek
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Phantoms. 1903
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Phantoms. 1903
Tempera on canvas. 117 × 144.5 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor Borisov-Musatov. South façade of the palace of Zubrilovka in the autumn
Viktor Borisov-Musatov. South façade of the palace of Zubrilovka in the autumn.
A Photograph taken by the artist for the “Phantoms” picture. 1902
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Blaze of Sunset. 1904
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Blaze of Sunset. 1904
Tempera on canvas. 79 × 87 cm
© Nizhny Novgorod State Art Museum
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. In the Park. Published: “Vesy”. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. In the Park. Published: “Vesy”. 1905, №2. Before P. 33
Viktor Borisov-Musatov in Zubrilovka
Viktor Borisov-Musatov in Zubrilovka. Photograph
Published: “Golden Fleece”. 1906, №3. The issue in memory of the artist
Maurice DENIS. September Night. From the cycle of decorative panels “Seasons”. 1891
Maurice DENIS. September Night. From the cycle of decorative panels “Seasons”. 1891
Oil on canvas. 38 × 61 cm
© Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Summer Melody. From the series “Seasons”. Sketch of a mural. 1904–1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Summer Melody. From the series “Seasons”. Sketch of a mural. 1904–1905
Watercolours, ink, brush, pen on paper. 38 × 81 cm
Private collection, Moscow
Viktor Borisov-Musatov among dandelions. Photograph. Early 1900s
Viktor Borisov-Musatov among dandelions. Photograph. Early 1900s
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Spring. 1898-1901
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Spring. 1898-1901
Oil on canvas. 68.5 × 96 cm
© Russian Museum
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Pool. 1902-1903
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. The Pool. 1902-1903
Tempera on canvas. 177 × 216 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Garlands of Cornflowers. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Garlands of Cornflowers. 1905
A sketch of a self-titled unfulfilled picture. Oil on canvas. 52.5 × 73 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Self-portrait. 1896
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Self-portrait. 1896
A sketch. Oil on canvas. 42.5 × 56.5 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Branches of Weeping Willow. Late 19th - beginning of the 20th century
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Branches of Weeping Willow. Late 19th - beginning of the 20th century
Oil on canvas. 58.5 × 40.5 cm
© Ivanovo Association of Art Museums
Sandro BOTTICELLI. Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman. Florence. 1483/1485
Sandro BOTTICELLI. Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman. Florence. 1483/1485
Fresco. 211 × 283 cm
© Louvre, Paris
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Balcony in the Autumn. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Balcony in the Autumn. 1905.
Paper, watercolours, black crayon. 53.4 × 63.3 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Nutwood Bush. 1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Nutwood Bush. 1905
Paper, pastel, watercolours. 75.1 × 61.5 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. A headpiece of the article by Konstantin Balmont “Mystery of loneliness and death. (At Moris Meterlink's work)”
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. A headpiece of the article by Konstantin Balmont “Mystery of loneliness and death. (At Moris Meterlink's work)”
Published: “Vesy”. 1905. №2. P. 1
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Self-portrait. 1904-1905
Viktor BORISOV-MUSATOV. Self-portrait. 1904-1905
Compressed charcoal on paper. 62.2 × 45.5 cm
© Tretyakov Gallery
Vasily MILIOTI. A vignette of the article by Andrei Bely. “Pink Garlands. On the death of Borisov-Musatov”
Vasily MILIOTI. A vignette of the article by Andrei Bely. “Pink Garlands. On the death of Borisov-Musatov”
Published: “Golden Fleece”. 1906. №3. P. 63
Vasily MILIOTI. A final vignette of the article by Andrei Bely. “Pink Garlands. Memories of Viktor Borisov-Musatov”
Vasily MILIOTI. A final vignette of the article by Andrei Bely. “Pink Garlands. Memories of Viktor Borisov-Musatov”
Published: “Golden Fleece”. 1906. №3. P. 65

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